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Hey! I've always loved to write but my problem has always been that I get these ideas for stories, and I just jump in and write out a couple pages of main ideas/scenes. I write it scattered, and kind of jump all over the story line to different possible scenes. I can't figure out how to piece it all together smoothly. So I guess my question would be how do you really develop a character, and not jump around to different parts; and not have the filler scenes/build-up be boring? I would really appreciate some advice! Thanks ^.^
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Well those are good questions. How you solve those issues varies from person to person. For me, linear is the only way to write. I don't do scenes, then fit them together. I know some authors do, including some well known published authors. My best suggestion for you would be write out a timeline. Plot your story from beginning to end, as if you were writing a timeline through history. Sort of a ... this declaration led to that skirmish which brought about this defeat and this escape when led to this assassination which ended the war, so to speak. Each event/chapter in a story should have a purpose and should be a natural result of the chapter before, and lend some necessary aspect to the overall story, as well as leave the road to the next chapter. What might seem like 'filler' could leave vital clues to a mystery, or the secret of a character's inner pain, readers just might not realize it til later. That is why I write in a linear fashion; it's easier for me to see all of that if I write it that way. You can jump around to write scenes, however, if you're careful about making sure you know where and why each fit in the story, and you can create good bridges from scene to scene.

 

As for characters; I'll have a piece in the blog this week on Thursday relating to character interviews. Talk to your characters, ask them questions, draw them out. Learn about their childhoods, their favorite food, their scars or plans for a tattoo when they move away from home... whatever it is about them that makes them individual. Then drop little hints of those aspects of their character here and there throughout the story. The guy that's aloof to the boy trying to get his attention might actually be hard of hearing and couldn't understand what was being said but didn't want to admit to being different. The girl that wears the oversized clothes and smokes might be hiding abuse from home, or she might just like to smoke and wear baggy, comfortable clothes. The parent that nags their child incessantly might have lost an older child to cancer and has hidden that all their 2nd child's life. We all have things that make us tic, preferences, favorites, hates and loves. Your characters should too. You don't have to share everything with your readers, but knowing more about your character lets you make them more well-rounded.

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As Cia says above - depending on how comfortable you feel with your story and plotline (ie, it has a beginning, middle and end - even if that is only in your head at present) then one method is to go and create a Bible/Book - that contains the character's backstory, arc, or whatever the kids are calling it these days. Once you get your character created in the head, use the Bible to keep you writing the same character. It's no good having them doing something that is out of character, because the writing will feel wrong. A Bible also helps you to go back over things without filling your head with clutter every two minutes. Blue eyes change to green eyes in real life over a period of time, not from one paragraph to the next. :)

 

Patchworking is a successfully proven method, but each scene has to have some kind of motivation to drive it, and unlike TV, you cannot FTB and pull in a narrator to voiceover.

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I start on the basis of my best characters before I really start the story, then let the story take me away... while trying to stay true as possible to the base that I made...

 

For stories, I write the Ideas down or just remember them,

and Start from the beginning I might add it's kinda hard cause I keep wanting to put more in places then i should.

  • Like 1
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Well those are good questions. How you solve those issues varies from person to person. For me, linear is the only way to write. I don't do scenes, then fit them together. I know some authors do, including some well known published authors. My best suggestion for you would be write out a timeline. Plot your story from beginning to end, as if you were writing a timeline through history. Sort of a ... this declaration led to that skirmish which brought about this defeat and this escape when led to this assassination which ended the war, so to speak. Each event/chapter in a story should have a purpose and should be a natural result of the chapter before, and lend some necessary aspect to the overall story, as well as leave the road to the next chapter. What might seem like 'filler' could leave vital clues to a mystery, or the secret of a character's inner pain, readers just might not realize it til later. That is why I write in a linear fashion; it's easier for me to see all of that if I write it that way. You can jump around to write scenes, however, if you're careful about making sure you know where and why each fit in the story, and you can create good bridges from scene to scene.

 

As for characters; I'll have a piece in the blog this week on Thursday relating to character interviews. Talk to your characters, ask them questions, draw them out. Learn about their childhoods, their favorite food, their scars or plans for a tattoo when they move away from home... whatever it is about them that makes them individual. Then drop little hints of those aspects of their character here and there throughout the story. The guy that's aloof to the boy trying to get his attention might actually be hard of hearing and couldn't understand what was being said but didn't want to admit to being different. The girl that wears the oversized clothes and smokes might be hiding abuse from home, or she might just like to smoke and wear baggy, comfortable clothes. The parent that nags their child incessantly might have lost an older child to cancer and has hidden that all their 2nd child's life. We all have things that make us tic, preferences, favorites, hates and loves. Your characters should too. You don't have to share everything with your readers, but knowing more about your character lets you make them more well-rounded.

 

 

I believe a timeline would be an excellent tool for me to utilize. It would defiantly keep me on track, and not hopping all over the place. As you said, some successful authors are able to write scenes and then bridge the gap. Personally, though I tend to just think of ideas and characters and write a scene specific to them, so the scenes I write are not necessarily on the same timeline. I also realize that my character development is a bit flawed because I create the basic framework, but don’t always add those tiny personal details that really create a character that you’d connect to. This was some great advice. Thank you ^.^

 

 

As Cia says above - depending on how comfortable you feel with your story and plotline (ie, it has a beginning, middle and end - even if that is only in your head at present) then one method is to go and create a Bible/Book - that contains the character's backstory, arc, or whatever the kids are calling it these days. Once you get your character created in the head, use the Bible to keep you writing the same character. It's no good having them doing something that is out of character, because the writing will feel wrong. A Bible also helps you to go back over things without filling your head with clutter every two minutes. Blue eyes change to green eyes in real life over a period of time, not from one paragraph to the next. Posted Image

 

Patchworking is a successfully proven method, but each scene has to have some kind of motivation to drive it, and unlike TV, you cannot FTB and pull in a narrator to voiceover.

 

 

This ‘kid’ would call it a backstory, thank you very much ^.^ But I think it’ll be really helpful for me, as I mentioned above, to really flesh out a character and write it all down so I can reference back to it. And you’re right. Sometimes I’ve gone back and some things in the story just feel out of place; almost a disconnect.

 

 

I start on the basis of my best characters before I really start the story, then let the story take me away... while trying to stay true as possible to the base that I made...

 

For stories, I write the Ideas down or just remember them,

and Start from the beginning I might add it's kinda hard cause I keep wanting to put more in places then i should.

 

 

I do that as well. I’ll think of several story ideas at once and go back and forth on the writing of them, but I think going forward I’ll just stick to one at a time! ^.^

 

Thank you all so much for this wonderful advice! ^.^

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think in the end, it's all trial and error, really. When I write, I start with either a scene or an idea and try to build from there. I used to do "character creation sheets" but in the end, I found that the characters will sort of "tell" you everything you need to know about them as you're writing the story. So I wait and then keep track of the important things after I've written them out the first time. (like a favorite food, or a hair color.) I've written some stories in a linear fashion and others where I will outline the whole thing out before I start writing. sometimes one scene might come to mind clearly and that's when I'll just write it out and see how it ends up flowing with the rest of the story. Its all going to come down to which way ends up working best for you, and sometimes there isn't just one way that works, sometimes it just sort of depends on the story.

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